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WHO dropped remdesivir from Covid-19 drug list

The drug, found ineffective in the solidarity trial, was administered on several hundred thousand Covid-19 patients. There were reports that US President, Donal Trump was treated with this drug along with other drugs.   

November 20, the World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson has said it has suspended Gilead’s remdesivir from its so-called prequalification list, which is an official list of medicines used as a benchmark for procurement by developing countries. Earlier, it had issued guidance against its use in hospitalised COVID-19 patients. The Solidarity Trial, a global human trial launched by WHO and its partners had found the drug effective for the treatment of Covid-19.

“Yes, we have suspended it from the PQ (prequalification list). The suspension is a signal to countries that WHO, in compliance with the treatment guidelines, does not recommend countries procure the drug for COVID,” Tarik Jasarevic, WHO spokesperson reportedly told Reuters in an emailed response.

Many pharmaceutical companies including Dr Reddy’s, Cipla, Zydus Cadila, Mylan and Hetero Healthcare have agreements with Gilead to manufacture and supply of its generic versions of the American drug maker’s patented drug in India. In India, the drug was launched in July, before the US approved it for treatment of Covid-19.


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